Social distancing bus by Arrival
Arrival is an electric bus that allows socially distanced travel

This week, designers heralded a sustainable future

This week on Dezeen, Parley for the Oceans founder Cyrill Gutsch predicted we'll have pollution-eliminating biofabricated materials with the decade, and Arrival launched an electric bus.

Speaking to Dezeen as part of Virtual Design Festival, Gutsch said the only solution to plastic pollution is to develop sustainable alternatives.

Cyrill Gutsch on the circular economy
The circular economy "will never work with the materials we have" says Cyrill Gutsch of Parley for the Oceans

"The future is about materials that are non-toxic," said Gutsch, who founded Parley for the Oceans, which is dedicated to protecting the marine environment. "Biofabrication will replace pretty much everything in the next 10 years."

IKEA also focused on a more sustainable future by doubled down on its commitment to circular design during the pandemic. The company announced it was partnering with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to investigate how to make all 10,000 of its products better suited to the circular economy.

Electric vehicle company Arrival also announced its latest project, a zero-emissions bus with moveable seats that can make travel safer during the coronavirus pandemic.

Disposable masks contain single-use plastic
Designers "deeply worried" as pandemic slows move away from single-use plastics

Designers shared their worries over the increase in production of single-use plastic during the pandemic. As the demand for plastic masks and takeaway cups is increasing, they called on governments to invest in sustainable alternatives.

Creative sector jobs are also at risk, warned the Creative Industries Federation, which has predicted that 400,000 jobs in the UK could be lost in a "cultural catastrophe" caused by coronavirus.

London Design Festival 2020 to go ahead in part-physical-part-virtual format
London Design Festival 2020 set to go ahead in September but expects "very little international travel"

The pandemic won't stop London Design Festival. This week the event announced it would go ahead in September, albeit with a lot of its programme moved online.

Maison d'Object, however, has been postponed. A digital design fair will now happen in conjunction with Paris Design week.

Social distancing installation at MAAT by Sam Barrow
Sam Baron creates brick and mirror signage to allow social distancing at the MAAT

In Lisbon, the MAAT has reopened after lockdown and visitors can now explore Beeline – an installation by SO-IL that has created a shortcut through the building.

To comply with social distancing, the museum enlisted local designer Sam Baron to make eye-catching signs from mirrors, bricks and tape that to remind people to stay safe.

The Road Back to the Office research papers published by furniture brand Vitra
Physical workplaces important for "preventing the loneliness epidemic in an increasingly digital world" says Vitra

Offices will be changed forever by the pandemic but will remain important for creativity and combatting loneliness, said Vitra, which has published a report on the topic.

"The physical workspace acts as an important factor in preventing the loneliness epidemic in an increasingly digital world," said its research paper.

Schools will also be forever changed by the pandemic, said a report from design studio Roar. Pre-fabricated classrooms could be one solution and bathrooms will need to be redesigned to be touchless.

Collections from Lucerne students stretch the meaning of jewellery
Collections from Lucerne School of Art and Design students stretch the definition of jewellery

VDF shone a spotlight on exciting student projects this week, including a co-working space to support entrepreneurs in conflict-torn Venezuela from a student at the Savanna College of Art and Design.

Students from the Lucerne School of Art and Design revealed their jewellery designs, including Madonna-esque silk accessories for breast cancer survivors and a mouth separator strung with pearl tongue-ticklers.

Mork-Ulnes Architects' Skigard Hytte in Kvitfjell, Norway
Mork-Ulnes constructs raised Skigard Hytte cabin using detached log cladding

Projects that proved popular with readers this week include a cabin on stilts with unusual wooden cladding in Norway, a house in Spain with rooms built in chipboard boxes, and a house in Hawaii built over a lava field.

This week on Dezeen is our regular roundup of the week's top news stories. Subscribe to our newsletters to be sure you don't miss anything.